Fried chicken is popular all across America and so different everywhere that it is not possible to say what city, state, or region does it best. While the process of making it is relatively simple, every cook has a twist to the recipe, and results vary from four-alarm hot (in Nashville) to country comfort (Indianapolis). Here are a double-dozen great places to enjoy fried chicken in all its myriad variations.
Does Stroud's of Kansas City serve the best fried chicken anywhere? With from-scratch fixins, too, from soup and mashed potatoes to sweet cinnamon rolls.
Nashville hot chicken was created at Prince's, which still serves the best. Even mild is hot. Hot is thermonuclear!
One of the USA's best chicken restaurants, AQ offers fried chicken, charcoal chicken and BBQ chicken with excellent side dishes and fried peaches for dessert.
In Charlottesville, a city of excellent fried chicken, Wayside is a standout. Available by piece or platter, it is magnificently juicy and peppered just-right.
Rip's is the best fried-chicken destination in the chicken-rich Illinois River Valley. Crunchies -- bits of insanely yummy fried skin and batter -- are a bonus.
Barto's Idle Hour serves the best fried chicken in Kansas, sided by German potato salad, cole slaw, onion rings, and bread baked by the Frontenac Bakery.
Ezell's Famous Chicken deserves its fame. In a world of bad franchised fried chicken it is a reminder of just how good this simple dish can be.
Memphis glory: Gus's fried chicken is cased in an envelope of crust with vigorous crunch, radiating the ecstatic flavor combination of chicken fat and pepper.
Barberton chicken, cooked in lard, has an unspeakably luxurious red gold crust; Belgrade Gardens invented it, and serves it as part of a full, fabulous meal.
Skillet-fried chicken is wonderful at Indianapolis' Hollyhock Hill. With pan gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn niblets, hot breads & apple butter.
Keaton’s of Cleveland, North Carolina, is home to some of the best chicken anywhere -- deep fried, then saturated with BBQ sauce. Unforgettably delicious!
Estimable soul food is the specialty of the Serving Spoon, a Los Angeles restaurant that fairly rocks with hospitality and good vibes.
Mrs. White's is a small Phoenix cafe that has become a southwestern legend for its exemplary soul food, especially fried chicken and fried pork chops.
Dinah’s has been a Glendale institution since 1967, known for fried chicken, fried liver, and fried chicken gizzards.
Martin's serves southern-style meat-and-three at its best: fried chicken, baked chicken, vegetables galore, plus pies that are the pride of Montgomery, Alabama.
Willie Mae's is a soul-food Mecca in New Orleans -- a favorite not only among locals but also of food pilgrims in search of the fried-chicken holy grail.
Hodak's of St. Louis is a full-menu tavern, but most customers come for fried chicken, made from a recipe used by the Hodak family since 1962.
Shealy’s is the dominant BBQ in central South Carolina, a buffet-style feast that includes pork, pulley bones & countless southern sides.
M&M is a modest, downhome soul food restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada: fried chicken with highly seasoned crust, succulent pork chops and pancake-style cornbread.
Red Beans and Rice with Hot Links, Fried Chicken w/ 3 Sides,
Sweet Potato Pie
, Collard Greens,
Fried Pork Chops
, Cornbread Dressing,
Dark Meat Fried Chicken
Deep in Louisiana Cajun country, Brenda's diner is a Roadfood gem, its crusty pork chops, zesty beans, spicy yams and garlicky sausage a primer in soul cooking.
Parker's is a legendary BBQ restaurant that is also known for superb fried chicken. It's a convenient stop off I-95 in Wilson, North Carolina.
Nashville's legendary country-style cafe got famous for its fried chicken, biscuits, and preserves, but now The Loveless Cafe has a broad downhome menu.